I spent Labor Day Weekend with Amanda Forester:
Amanda Forester holds a PhD in clinical psychology and a Masters degree in theology. As a psychologist, she has worked as a clinical researcher and a university instructor (what they call you when they don’t want to give you tenure). None of which has anything to do with writing romance novels. After trying for many years to stop the internal storylines floating around her head, she finally gave up and wrote one down. Now when she is caught daydreaming and talking to herself she can just say, “I’m plotting a scene for my next novel,” which sounds so much better than, “I’m hallucinating and responding to internal stimuli.”
Amanda lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, three lazy house pets and one destructive puppy who is part yellow lab part tornado.
Or should I say, Amanda Forester's A WINTER WEDDING, Book 3 in the Marriage Mart series:
Miss Penelope Rose, exclusive matchmaker to London’s elite, successfully creates love for everyone but herself. Her toughest client yet, the sexy Duke of Marchford, has commissioned her to find him a bride. But he’s more interested in tracking down a spy, and she’s in no hurry to speed up the process…
When the fate of England falls in the Duke’s hands, he enlists Penelope for a new plan—they announce a sham engagement in order to flush out the traitor. But as the stakes get more deadly, and their feelings more real, will they discover that love is the most dangerous plot of them all?
Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibility. -Anne Hathaway
Penelope Rose sees possibilities as the anonymous matchmaker Madame X. She collaborates with the Dowager Duchess of Marchford while serving as her companion. They engaged in such business to keep them in comfort - the Duchess' grandson, James, cut off her pin money to encourage her to retire to the country. He anticipates that his grandmother would make life difficult for his future Duchess. Yet he sees the value of Miss Rose's ability to see possibilities that is applicable to both matchmaking and spycatching. Despite being a duke, James continues to work for the Foreign Office - a job he held when he was only the spare.
James' easy access to his grandmother's companion is compromised when the Dowager Duchess accepts a marriage proposal from her first love. Likewise, the duke is hounded by managing mamas seeking a ducal match. James enlists Penelope to find him a suitable bride even as she continues to assist him with the Foreign Office. Needless to say, James and Penelope expectantly fall in love while dodging society's scorn and Napoleon's operatives.
A WINTER WEDDING is a lighthearted romp through Regency England with humorous banter between the characters, an amusing ode to Christmas traditions, a Peruvian jungle cat who ultimately solves the ongoing mystery, and sweet sexual tension between James and Penelope I commend Forester for walking that fine line of creating passion yet respecting the characters' morals. In fact, the wedding itself is a surprising treat. No spoiler here since the title infers a wedding.
A WINTER WEDDING kept my attention - I read this novel in three days. Although characters from Book 1 appear in A WINTER WEDDING, they stay in the background to allow the romance to develop between James and Penelope. A WINTER WEDDING can be read as a stand alone novel.
Recommended read for fans of Regency England and holiday romances. I received an ARC from Sourcebooks for an honest review.
I am giving away a print copy of A WINTER WEDDING to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about your favorite Winter Holiday tradition.
2. Comments are open through Saturday, September 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.
3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 7.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City
Learn more about Amanda and her books at amandaforester.com.